the-sisters Stanley Spencer

A few months ago, I wrote about certain themes running through families. At the time, a number of people asked me to elaborate, so here you go.

In the case of astrological themes, we’re usually thinking in terms of signs, although it can also be extended to planets. It’s certainly not unusual to find families that are Saturn or Jupiter-like in terms of their sensibilities. Where astrology can be helpful regarding families is that it can identify the black sheep, the person who was working on a different theme from most of the other family members. Because it’s important to remember that parents and siblings and all the rest of the clan are, on some level, simply other people. They may be much more, of course, but astrologically they can be wildly different, with a different purpose, a different purpose, a different sensibility and so on.

By saying that, I’m not diminishing the ties of family but simply pointing out that there can be essential and painful differences between people who share the same blood. “Is it wrong not to like my sister?” a client once asked.  “If it helps,” I told her, “she probably doesn’t like you either. There’s simply no compatibility between your charts. Stop worrying about it.”

In some astrological circles, it’s believed that people choose their families on some mystical/psychic/soul level. I’m not much a believer in that idea and certainly over the years my clients seem to absolutely hate it. “Trust me, of all the parents on earth, I wouldn’t have chosen those two,” is how a woman put it to me once.

Having said all of the above, it would be a mistake to think that looking at the charts of family members, siblings for instance, is an exercise in searching for the negative. Below are the charts of two well-known brothers: Ben and Casey Affleck. They have worked together often, and have done so in an industry that could easily set siblings at odds (think of Eric and Julia Roberts, or Warren Beatty and Shirley Maclaine). We’ll look at them first through the planetary connections and then through the connections of temperament, though in practice the process would be reversed. Ben’s chart is on the inside, while Casey’s is on the outside.

The Affleck Brothers

While born three years apart, the brothers have some unusual connections. Starting with the Sun (marked with an arrow at the bottom left of the charts) and moving counterclockwise, we see that their Suns are conjunct, Casey’s Mars is conjunct Ben’s Mercury and that their Moon’s are conjunct. AND both those Moons are favorably supportive to the Ben’s Ascendant and Venus (marked on the left side with a couple of rectangles). Is it any wonder they work together and work well?

Going further, let’s look at the temperaments: Ben is primarily phlegmatic (cold & wet) in nature, with a sub temperament of choleric (hot & dry), while Casey is primarily melancholic (cold & dry). What does that mean? They connect through the cold element, but balance each through the Ben’s preponderance of wet and Casey’s preponderance of dry. In other words, there’s a lot, in terms of both temperament and planets that make them well suited to working together.